Reflecting on the failure of exogenous, top-down and blue-print 'development' models, participatory development has been ever more discussed since the middle of the 1970s, although it is still enveloped in a cloud of rhetoric. Seeking for the new model of people-centered development, the concepts of empowerment and indigenous knowledge have been introduced into the context of the development world and are becoming widespread. The new methodologies of participatory development, as for example Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) , have been rapidly developed in the 1990s. The development paradigm based on the Western epistemology and value system is, however, still embedded in the development world and follows the prescriptions laid down for them ['underdeveloped' countries] by those already 'developed' (Escobar
Dharmadhatu Foundationís approach to community efforts is rooted in a shift from traditional "top-down" approaches towards a more culturally appropriate, community-based development that includes traditional cultural value systems i.e. spiritual values. It is our belief that participation should occur at every level: the design, implementation and evaluation of development initiatives that aim to meet a common need and goal. Culturally Appropriate Community-based Development (CACD) approach applies recently developed Ethnographically Informed Community and Cultural Assessment Research System (EICCARS )
to assess the community need through leaning from the community itself. CACD is essential to achieve development with the dignity of all people.